With Instagram for Kids, Facebook tried to move one step closer to the total dominance of social media, but it has hit a roadblock as of now. Let me discuss this aspect in detail and why many critics think that Facebook or the management of Instagram has gone overboard.
Instagram is planning to launch a dedicated app for kids aged 10 to 12 as Instagram for kids. The project has been paused for now, and the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri said that Instagram would consider the opinions of parents, policymakers, and regulators before moving on. Many factors can make Instagram for kids a great tool for marketing purposes. But everything must be according to the wishes of the concerned people, especially the parents.
The question on everyone’s mind is Instagram is going to market a product to kids as their parents will also be watching over it. They will have all the access to the home their kids are following, access to DM, and practically everything they are doing on Instagram. Sounds great as far as the management of Instagram was concerned, and they thought that it would be able to get the lion’s share of this market. Termed as tween, for children between 10 to 12, things changed for the worse for the tech giants and now it is trying to think of ways to somehow satisfy all the stakeholders.
Many critics think that this is a viable business idea, but when put into the prospect of giving Instagram an unfair advantage of making such an app, something must be done. Together with Facebook and WhatsApp, Instagram has already a considerable amount of data that is enough to lure its target audience. Only Google can rival Facebook and make such a product targeting specifically children and within the age of 10-12.
Do marketers and businesses be willing to invest in the ads for Insta for kids? This is the million-dollar question Instagram has to answer before launching the app in the market. And most of the industry pundits are sure that they have answered it positively. That is why it is going ahead with such a huge project. But even after that, Instagram for kids would be a resounding success is not a guarantee. Many factors can make it look uncool for the children as they will not have full freedom to use it.
The last aspect mentioned can be exactly the reason why many other take joints and companies have not ventured into making an app targeting children. Instagram is already being used by teenagers using the ideas of their parents or caretakers. But mostly, they use it just like an adult, and not much can be done by the person who is taking care of them. Instagram for kids is touting the idea that now everything will be in the hands of the parents/guardian, and the kids will also have a good time using their ID.
While Instagram for kids is on hold, Instagram looks towards going all out with their parental supervision tools for 13 to 19-year olds. This will allow the parents to see the activities of their children, but not much is known currently about this feature. The announcement is due after a few months, and until that time, Instagram will be looking to launch Instagram for kids anyhow. But the time frame seems very short, and it is unlikely that the company will get the nod from the parents, policymakers, and especially the regulators to launch this app.
Wall Street Journal came up with a survey that made things difficult for Instagram. Most teenage girls thought that they felt bad about their bodies after seeing images and videos of girls and women having perfect bodies. Some of them even faced body shaming when they uploaded their pictures on Instagram. This is not something that can be tolerated easily, but Instagram rejected the survey citing many aspects like only 40 girls were approached for the study.
The Verge came out with their interpretation of the survey and asked Instagram why it has ignored that many teenagers claim they feel addicted to Instagram. This is one factor that has been cited time and again by the parents and social media watchdogs. Their point of view is that children at such a young age shouldn’t be using such an app that can consume the precious time they can put on their studies and other activities.
The outcry has not subsided as Facebook is now getting the brunt of the situation. After the Wall Street Journal piece and the questions raised by The Verge, commentators challenged Facebook to make the research public that it has done for Instagram for kids. Facebook Global head of safety, Antigone Davis, will answer questions at the forthcoming US Senate committee in the next few days. And one thing is for sure, he will be questioned about the Wall Street Journal report and the plans for Instagram for kids.
Over to you
What is your opinion about Instagram kids, and will you allow your children or younger siblings to use this app? And generally what do you think should be the role of tech giants like Facebook and making such an app? If you want to offer your feedback for this blog or ask any question you have in mind, you are more than welcome.